Playoffs or bust for Panthers girls’ volleyball

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Superior Sun

Last year the Panthers finished with a record of 13 – 10, just missing a berth in the state playoffs. Head coach Cheryl Lopez returns seven players from last year’s team – four seniors and three juniors – and didn’t mince words when asked what her expectations were for the 2014 season.

“I expect to make it to state this year,” she answered.

Lopez knows the Panthers are in a very competitive section with teams like Ray and St. John’s, who each reached the playoffs last year.

“We had a winning season last year,” Lopez said. “Our returning girls are strong and determined to have more wins (this year).”

In order to achieve “more wins” in 2014, Lopez wants to see her improve communication on the court and work as a team unit. So far so good, she says.

“I guarantee an exciting volleyball season,” said a confident Lopez.

The Panthers open their season on September 2, 2014, at home versus Hayden. The match is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Other upcoming games include September 10 @ Duncan (5:00 p.m.) and a home match versus Globe on September 11 (6:00 p.m.).

Andy Luberda (750 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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